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Benedict XVI’s ‘The Divine Project’

- NATIONAL CATHOLIC REGISTER - John Grondelski - APRIL 16, 2023 -

After John Paul II died, and as his canonization process ensued, several lost talks and retreats he delivered during his 32 years of priesthood in Poland were discovered and published.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI lighting the Pascal Candle at the Easter Vigil Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Saturday, April 7, 2012. (photo: Vatican Media )

BOOK PICK: Remembering Pope Benedict XVI on what would've been his 96th birthday.


THE DIVINE PROJECT

REFLECTIONS ON CREATION AND THE CHURCH

By Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

Ignatius Press, 2022

177 pages, $18.95

To order: ewtnrc.com


After John Paul II died, and as his canonization process ensued, several lost talks and retreats he delivered during his 32 years of priesthood in Poland were discovered and published.



Similarly, this book contains five lectures then-Cardinal Ratzinger gave in 1985 in Austria.


Though they were known and partially published, were they complete?


The discovery in an attic of someone’s recording of them allowed their full texts to be transcribed.


John Paul once said, around the time of his Wednesday audiences on the theology of the body, that if man wants to understand himself, he needs to return to the first pages of Genesis.


Cardinal Ratzinger’s lectures focus on the theology of creation and of the Church. The title and the thread holding creation and Church together is the question, “What is man?”


“… [T]he biblical account of creation is situated here, at the very heart of the question, ‘What is man?’ ‘What must I do to be a human being?’ It seeks to guide us on our journey into the mysterious land of human existence; it seeks to help us discern what God’s project with man is all about. Man is not merely some entity devoid of an essential nature; rather, God has a project planned for him, and he has freely trusted man with the task of fulfilling this project, and doing so with creativity. And with this text, it is like God rushing to our aid, trying to help us to give our own, creative response to the question that each of us has to answer for himself” (p. 67).



Cardinal Ratzinger guides us to discover what the creation accounts have to tell us. In the process, he teaches us how to read Scripture.


Westerners tend to have very linear approaches to their reading and their logic. It’s how we read books: Start at the beginning; reach the end.


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LEIA MAIS >

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